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18 Aug 2012 16:11
A woman runs in front of striking mineworkers during tense moments at the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg, South Africa. Frantic wives searched for missing loved ones, President Jacob Zuma rushed home from a regional summit and some miners vowed a fight to the death as police finally announced the toll from the previous day's shooting by officers of striking platinum miners: 34 dead and 78 wounded. (Denis Farrell, AP)
A New Zealand-based organisation has blamed President Jacob Zuma and the ANC-led government for a shootout at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, in the North West, that left 34 workers dead.
Spokesperson for the Global Peace and Justice Auckland (GPJA) John Minto wrote in an open letter to Zuma that the government had "blood on their hands".
"Just as we held the apartheid regime responsible for the massacres in the 70's and 80's, we now hold the ANC government responsible for the massacre of striking mineworkers."
Minto said members of the organisation had watched with growing alarm at the direction the ANC leadership had taken South Africa since the first democratic election in 1994.
"Under the ANC we have seen South Africa change seamlessly from race-based apartheid to economic apartheid".
He said the strike came as a result of the ANC's choice to follow free-market economic policies.
"Such policies had always transferred wealth from the poor to the rich and stripped hope from the majority" he said.
Struggle for liberation
He said the struggle for liberation was not aimed at placing a few black faces at the top table in South Africa.
New Zealand-based media outlet 3 News reported on Saturday that GPJA protesters attacked the South African consulate building in Auckland in response to the shooting.
They used red paint bombs to splatter the walls and windows and stuck the open letter on the door.
A total of 34 people were killed in a shootout that erupted near the mine on Thursday when police tried to disperse striking miners.
More than 78 people were injured. Another 10 people had by then been killed in the violent protests at the mine over the past week.
President Jacob Zuma visited Lonmin yesterday where he condemned the violence.
He called for an inquiry into the incident.
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